Power raking will remove excess organic material and aerate the soil to allow your new lawn to take root, so you want to leave just the barest layer (about 1/4 inch) of thatch on the ground. .

4 Types of Lawn Damage (And How to Fix Them)

Although, damage to your lawn can come from any of the above stressors — or all of them — you can fix any unsightly or dead patches in your yard by first determining the problem, and then applying the appropriate solution.These harsh chemicals run off of sidewalks, walkways and driveways and burn adjacent grass and other vegetation.Use calcium magnesium acetate, which is the most environmentally safe product to remove ice.Thoroughly water your lawn adjacent to concrete surfaces to flush remaining salt, de-icer and residue from plants and soil.Try adding a few drops of a mild dishwashing liquid to a hose-end sprayer attachment when spraying your yard using a garden hose.This will wash away salt residue and any other buildup from the grass and help oxygen make its way to the roots.Simply spread a thin layer over the affected areas of your yard, using a lawn spreader and then thoroughly water it.If the grass hasn't returned to its natural green color, you may have to remove these patches and reseed.Insects (their larvae, in particular), rodents, and birds work together to do damage to a healthy lawn.Certain beetle larvae, usually referred to as grubs, can infest the soil beneath the grass and attack roots.The sod in these areas will seem slightly detached from the rest of the earth and often is easily pulled up.Use a shovel or garden spade to remove the dead grass, topsoil and a couple extra inches of soil from the affected areas.Additionally, you can use an aerator to thoroughly stir around the loose soil to prepare it for fertilizer, seeds and water.Water the area using a garden hose, giving it a good, long soaking.Water the spot every day for a month or so until the grass has re-grown and blended in with the surrounding lawn.You can add hay or straw mulch to facilitate sprouting, particularly on sloping areas.This helps prevent soil erosion and cuts down on the need for frequent watering.Yellow spots on your lawn are often the work of man's best friend, whether it's your dog or a neighbor's wandering canine.In most cases, a dog's waste can be beneficial to grass because it acts as natural fertilizer.Training a pet to eliminate waste in a selected spot in your yard can keep the damage confined to one area.Try to take note of where you see your dog urinate, if it's not obvious by the yellow patches in the grass.To prevent thatch from accumulating, rake your lawn after mowing, especially at the end of the growing season.Contrary to common homeowner practice, you should never dethatch in mid- to late spring or during your lawn's active growing season.Dethatching at this time exposes the soil and can give weeds a chance to take over your yard. .

How to Fix 10 Common Lawn Problems

We cover the 10 most common lawn complaints, including crabgrass, compacted soil, brown patches, grubs, disease, pet urine, and bare spots.The temperature should hit 52 degrees F. (You can also buy an inexpensive soil thermometer from a garden center.).Seed turfgrass in late summer or early fall with about 8 weeks gap in between the two chores.Use weed pullers or a trowel as a crabgrass removal tool to make sure you get the roots up.A natural post-emergent herbicide is vinegar/acetic acid (in a higher concentration than regular grocery store vinegar).So, make spot applictions directly onto the leaves of the weed plant or your lawn grass will be harmed.Note that vinegar spray kills only the leaves but does not travel to the root system; it will kill young newly germinated weeds and some annuals but will not work on established weeds.As crabgrass is an annual, it’s best to just tolerate it after mid-August; the herbicide won’t be effective and it will die with the first hard frost.It also provides some insect control, as it emits a natural poison that gives some small, damaging bugs the “flu.”.Note: There are also grassy weeds which are perennials (example, nimblewill, quackgrass creeping bentgrass).If you can’t decide: Let dandelions in a separate patch (not in your lawn) for the pollinators; they are one of bees’ first springtime food sources.You can eat their young leaves in salads, and in fact, they were brought to this land as an exotic green.There’s a useful garden tool fittingly called a “dandelion digger” which is used for digging weeds with long taproots.It’s a solid metal rod (10 to 14 inches) long with a handle and two-pronged blade.If you miss some and they flower the next year, dig them out before they reach the seed (white puffy) stage.Applying broadleaf herbicides in the fall will also kill winter annuals because they begin growth in autumn.Summer annuals (example, prostrate spurge) can be a problem and are best dug up by hand when young.A “sedge” has a triangle-shape stem (i.e., not round, like grass), which you can feel if you roll the base of the plant between your fingers.Sedge also grows faster than many lawn grasses, so you’ll notice it when it outgrows your turf.Yellow nutsedge produces a golden seedhead but reproduces primarily by underground tubers (which can remain dormant in the ground for several years).Problem: Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) is a troublesome weed which competes with lawn grass within 2 weeks of emergence in spring—and it continues to compete for light and nutrients all summer long.Unlike other weeds, often the only solution for yellow nutsedge to apply effective selective herbicides.The traditional herbicides used to control dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) and crabgrass (Digitaria spp.).Every other year, rent and run an aerator over the lawn to give the grass roots the air and water circulation they need.Aerification is the process of removing small columns of soil (called plugs) to reduce compaction.You want an aerifier that has tines that penetrate 2 to 3 inches into the soil and, ideally, have reciprocating arms to make more holes per square feet.Notice the “plugs.” You can rent regular push aerators from home improvement stores.Problem: Improper aeration, often caused by a build up of thatch and compacted soil, can affect the health of your lawn over time by providing ideal conditions for disease.In general, tools that spike or slice into the soil do little to relieve compaction issues.Problem: Thatch is actually a tightly intermingled layer of dead and decaying vegetation—an unhealthy build-up of organic matter that can cause brown patches in a lawn—indicating a pH imbalance.Thatch is a problem especially in lawns previously treated with chemicals where the grass’s natural ability to decay has been destroyed.One way to do this is to rent a power rake, also called a dethatching machine (inquire at your garden supply center), which uses rigid wire tines or steel blades that slice through the thatch to the soil surface, tearing and pulling up the thatch.Molasses diluted with hot water and sprayed on the lawn can help stimulate natural organisms to eat the thatch layer.Problem: If your lawn turns brown in early fall and raccoons and skunks begin to dig up your lawn, you may have white grubs, which are the immature stage of Japanese beetles and chafer beetles.Grubs cause lawns to turn yellow and die, but are fairly easily controlled through nonpoisonous means.First, pull up the dead grass and make sure you really do have grubs, which are white, C-shaped, and very easy to see against dark soil.Solutions: Insecticides or pesticides are hardly ever necessary to control the most common lawn pests, and the same is true for white grubs.Two biological controls for grubs are beneficial nematodes and milky spore disease.Milky spore disease is a bacterium that controls chewing insects, including beetles, and can be purchased under several brand names.is a bacterium that controls chewing insects, including beetles, and can be purchased under several brand names.Borrowing moles create ridges in the lawn which can damage plant roots.Placing ultrasonic devices or noisemakers such as spinning daisies near the runs is also helpful.A rusty powder that rubs off on your shoes in late summer or early fall is “lawn rust.”.Mow at the correct height, fertilize appropriately, aerate compacted soil, irrigate properly (don’t overwater, water early in the day), and also buy disease-resistant grass seeds if available.Also, get a soil pH test each year to make sure you have the right levels of phosphorus and potassium, and the other nutrients that your grass needs.Applying fungicides (which are pesticides that control fungal disease) is rarely warranted in a home lawn.If you encounter a slimey, colorful patch coating your grass, that’s slime mold.Cat and dog urine contains damaging amounts of nitrogen, which can cause your lawn to brown.If you catch the pet urinating on the plants, you may be able to reduce the damage by watering the area.This assumes you’ll provide good follow-up lawn care afterwards in terms of mowing, irrigation, and fertilizing.If your lawn is established but thin and sparse, first check two things: 1) Are you using the right grass seed for your yard?Mow the grass to a height of 1 to 1.5 inches, apply starter fertilizer, sow the seed, and gently rake to cover.If the area is contaminated with perennial weeds, then you may need to use herbicide to clear the land to breakup those underground tubers and rhizomes.Most people mow too short which reduces the grasses’ ability to produce food via photosynthesis and invites weeds to move in.However, never remove more than one-third of the grass leaf in a single mowing (called the “one-third” rule) or you reduce root growth.Make the lawn seek its own source of water, building longer and sturdier roots.Avoid short, frequent watering (sips) which promote a weak root system.Water thoroughly and deeply once a week to encourage the grass’s root system to go deeper, making the whole lawn more hardy and heat tolerant.


Lawn Care: How to Repair a Lawn (DIY)

Introduction With a combination of soil additives, fertilizers, and tender, loving care, you can change your lawn from scraggly to golf-course green in one season.And you don’t have to pay big bucks for a lawn service to douse your yard with chemicals either.In this story, we’ll show you what to do in the spring, summer and fall to get a grass lawn so nice you could cut it up and sell it as sod. .

How to Repair Bare Spots in Your Lawn

Bare patches in an otherwise full, healthy lawn may be the result of pet urine, heavy foot traffic, infestations by grubs or other pests, or a variety of other causes.A quicker method than seeding is to fill the bare spot with a patch cut from a roll of grass sod.Professional recommendations for sodding a full yard are similar as for seeding—early fall for cool-season grasses, late summer for cool-season grasses, but if you are simply cutting patches for bare spots, you'll likely succeed during most of the growing season, provided you keep the sod patch moist while it is taking hold.If you live in a zone where hard frost arrives in early December, for example, it would be best to plant sod patches no later than mid-October. .

How to repair thinning grass, patches and holes in your lawn

● Rake away any clippings, stones or debris from the patchy section and to loosen the soil.● Use a quick release fertiliser to speed up the growth of the new grass, applying at a rate of 70g per m2 and watering in until dissolved.● Water the area daily for the first six weeks after sowing - if there is prolonged rainfall you can avoid doing this.If your grass is thinning slightly, you may be able to thicken it up with a fast acting nitrogen rich fertiliser. .

How to Fix Dry Grass and Brown Spots on Your Lawn

Soil test kits are sold online and in garden shops; both battery powered meters and are available.If the test proves the soil is alkaline, amend it with sulfur or pine needles.If the pH or some other factor, like improperly applied toxic herbicide, isn't causing the brown spots, then the culprit might be a physical obstruction."A lot of times, an inch or so below the soil there can be a rock or stone, causing the roots to dry up," explains Adam Cain, vice president for Ryan Lawn & Tree, in the Kansas City area. .

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